My loofah gourd dying on the arch trellis after our first freeze.

BUZZ MAGAZINE - As I write this article, I am watching my garden thaw from last night's freeze. For a short time, the once-live garden is frozen in time while the rays of sun glide across the yard. The plants are slowly turning from bright green and full, to limp and dark. Its a bittersweet scene. This is the close of the summer garden. I hate to see it go, but I am ready to soon embrace a season of rest.

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The garden, for me, really isn't much work once all of my plants have gotten established. It's really just plucking a few weeds, making sure everyone stays hydrated and untangling some congested vines. The real work for me is handling the harvest. With gross quantities of produce coming in with a very small window of opportunity, you have to work, and you have to work fast.

I have spent hours and hours blanching and dicing and cooking and canning. Being able to stand back and take in your full pantry is enough to make a mamma proud. I am ready to be done though!

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Research has shown that humans benefit greatly from seasons of work and seasons of rest. You can't run on all cylinders all of the time. You'll wear out, or even worse, burn out. I say this a lot, but I mean it. God knew what He was doing when He designed us. He gave us a whole season where we literally cannot do much outside to force us to rest. Don't get me wrong, there is still plenty to keep us busy. Thankfully, though, the goodies growing are much less labor intensive. Many things are fine in the ground until we need to eat them. Many things can handle the low temps. All we have to do is offer a little bit of protection from frigged temps now and cook a good homemade meal and some warm baked goods from the summer's harvest. Those frozen bags of zucchini and melon are waiting!

I know our society takes great pride in keeping ourselves busy. However, if we sit back and really think about it though, how much reward is there really in that? I find that we really have much more to offer when we are intentional with our time and our care. Really being deliberate with what we do, what we learn, and how we steward our blessing will produce far more of a legacy than cramming extra chores in one day than we really need to do. So please give yourself permission to rest this fall/winter and give your person some care. It's important!

I hope this information is helpful and you get out there and get your hands dirty! Please feel free to share your experience and tips on my Instagram or Facebook page @BottomViewFarmIL.

Kris Hart lives in Litchfield and has a small hobby farm making strides towards sustainable living and organic/heirloom gardening. Contact her at kris.hart17@yahoo.com.

This story originally ran in the November issue of The Prairie Land Buzz Magazine http://www.thebuzzmonthly.com.

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